My father doesn’t exist on any social media platform, and if you Google his name you’ll find no relevant results. He died in 1987, when the world was on the cusp of an internet revolution. Ray never had an email address, and he was living in an age when you put your Social Security number, your age, and your marital status on your resume. It was a time of internet-less privacy and anonymity, but also an age of segregation of information where often the rich or the well-educated had access to disproportionate resources.
My father built computers and sold them, in the age of the Commodore 64. He was also a radio DJ, a bartender, and a forklift operator…anything to pay the bills. Ray was an aspiring poet and writer, but never succeeded in making these passions a steady career. Fundamentally, he loved technology and saw computer programming as just another magical but fundamentally literary pastime. He taught me the basics of BASIC programming when I was 5.
He didn’t get to celebrate enough Father’s Days with me before he died, and I often miss him. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was master of the pun…he loved using language’s inconsistencies to make others laugh. He was a loyal friend, and a gentle soul, and was never really very comfortable with the harsh realities of the world he inhabited. He died of complications with Type I Diabetes, at the young age of 36.
Happy Father’s Day, Raymond Lee McCall. Now you have an identity on Google.
It’s about damn time.